I have a table with data, with several columns. This is a table used mostly for reading, with the possibility for a user to occasionally adjust some values. Most columns are informative only, and some can be edited (like amounts, quantities, dates, etc). I don't have control over the order, the size, or even the presence of these columns, as it can be customized by the user. The fact of being editable is mostly related to the column, however some rows have data that cannot be edited on some columns.
As it is, the table does its job on the purely functional stage. If you double-click on a cell which is editable, you will enter the editor for it. If you double-click on another one... nothing happens.
I miss a way to indicate that this cell is editable, other than clicking desperately.
What would be the best way to indicate that?
Constraints linked to my personal case: (it's better if the answer takes them into account, but not obligatory. The question doesn't have to be too specific)
- Users have the possibility to customize the font (size, style), the text color, the alignment of cells for a given column. So I don't have control over these parameters.
- My table is mostly a report, in which it is possible to adjust values occasionally. This is not the main way to edit them, just a quick shortcut.
- Some columns have conditions on the editable state, so some rows (rare) cannot be edited, even if the column would normally allow it.
- A different background color for editable cells would be the first thing to spring to mind. However, since there is no control over the order, size, or else, it's easily giving a very messy result. It's also not obvious on first sight that this is editable.
- Adding an icon to the cell? It would be straightforward, but would easily add a lot of clutter to the table.
- Another possibility would be to indicate the fact that a column is editable, directly in the header. It won't take into account the fact that some cells can't be edited, even in such columns, but since their occurrence is rather rare, this seems like the way to add the information with the least clutter.